Baseball season opened with a made-over Durham Bulls Athletic Park: better lighting, new seats, a new field, more convenient concessions, fancy new electronic signs.
Of course, it came at a cost – a little higher than the original estimate.
“As we went along, we kept adding things,” Durham Bulls spokesman Scott Carter said.
The final cost, for additions, renovations and deferred maintenance, came to about $20 million instead of the $14 million estimated when the when the Durham Bulls Baseball Club signed a new lease for the city-owned ballpark.
In the lease agreement, the city agreed to put $12 million into the DBAP – $6 million for maintenance and $6 million for renovations – with the ball club responsible for any costs above that amount.
As the Bulls added amenities to the original plan – such as more concession equipment and more digital signage – their costs went up, Carter said.
The public contribution remained capped at $12 million, according to Carter and city General Services Director Joel Reitzer. Reitzer said Friday he is still waiting for a final accounting of how the taxpayers’ money was spent.